Friday, May 23, 2014

Living, Laughing, and Loving: Linda Broday

How wonderful to be a part of Cheryl's Month of Joy. I was thrilled when she asked me and then I started thinking of what I wanted to write about. Very often joy is illusive and as difficult to hold onto as a handful of melting ice cream. Despite our best efforts, sometimes it just slips through our fingers.

We all go through difficult times and when we do, it pushes the joy right out of our lives. I've been a reader and writer all my life and always found joy in the written word. But when my husband lost his battle with colon cancer in 2006, I plunged into a deep, dark pit. I was hard pressed to find a speck of joy anywhere. I stopped writing. How could I write about love and romance when the man I gave my heart to so long ago was no longer with me?


I began to climb out of that pit by taking small steps. Emails, thank you cards and slowly getting back to reading short Bible verses. After a few months of that, I began recording my thoughts in a journal and searching for the words that seems to be frozen in my brain. I put no pressure on myself. That was the key to thawing the words.


"...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalms 30:5


I found myself repeating that verse and soon I started to believe it. I understood how precious life is and I didn't want to waste any of it being bogged down in despair. I began moving. And writing. I wrote stories in six anthologies over the next five years with Jodi Thomas, DeWanna Pace, and Phyliss Miranda for Kensington Publishing. Plus a short story in Hearts and Spurs that came out in January with Prairie Rose Publications.


Eventually, I sold my house and moved to be near my children and grandchildren. I learned how to laugh again, how to write and how to love the life God has given me.


Last year I sold a trilogy called The Bachelors of Battle Creek to Sourcebooks Publishing and Book One will release January 2015. I'm making great strides these days. Just proves that good things come to those who persevere. We can climb those mountains when we keep putting one foot in front of the other. 


So, I would say that the key to finding and keeping joy is to embrace life, laugh and love as freely as you can. The sky will be more blue, the birds' songs sweeter. Stay strong and never, ever give up.

Linda resides in the panhandle of Texas on the Llano Estacado, land the American Indians and comancheros once roamed. At a young age, she discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. Cowboys fascinate her. There’s something about Stetsons, boots, and tall rugged cowboys that get her fired up. She's a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author and has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold Award.

 
ORDER THE COWBOY WHO CAME CALLING FROM AMAZON
ORDER HEARTS AND SPURS FROM AMAZON



22 comments:

  1. Thank you for visiting and sharing your journey, Linda. I am one who understands the journey back to joy. I have always admired your strength and positive attitude. You've encouraged me more than once over the years, not only with words, but by example. Love to you, friend.

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    1. Thanks, Miss Cheryl! I was a little afraid of posting this (I'm such a private person) but now I'm glad I did. Joy is not only in seeing a beautiful sunrise, but also in sharing pieces of your heart with others. We've become like sisters and I cherish your friendship.

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    2. I'm glad you shared it too. It really helps others to know they're not alone and that others have gone through difficult times--still do--but have shown courage and faith. You are special.

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  2. Linda, what a story...I can't imagine losing my husband, but if I did, I would hope to be able to find my way back the same as you did--one day at a time, through the small things that uplift us. I'm sure at the beginning you were very angry about it--I know I would have been. I think you are one of the most "positive" people I have ever met, and I'm so glad that things came around right for you again! You are a great example for all of us, dear friend.
    XOXOXOXO
    Cheryl

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    1. Hi Cheryl, thank you for your comment. I appreciate every one of my friends so much. No, it's strange but I never was really angry. I was so afraid because I'd lost all my security. I had so many things to figure out how to do by myself. Even going to buy groceries was like climbing Mt. Everest. I kept wanting to pry open that door that had slammed in my face. Slowly reality crept in and I turned loose and let God show me how to move forward again. You can never underestimate the little things. Love you my friend!

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    2. Cheryl P - where are the LIKE buttons? lol

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  3. Linda,
    My heart goes out to you for your loss. It's something, I suspect, you never quite get over. Thanks for sharing your journey. It takes time, and kindness to oneself, to pull through these tough times. More importantly, it takes faith, because in those dark hours it's hard to believe you'll ever see the light again. Your story reminds us that we can, and we will.
    A big hug to you!
    Kristy

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    1. Thanks so much, Kristy. Your comments mean a lot to me. I'm often reminded of that saying that the first step is always the hardest. It's so very true. And that first step begins an amazing journey. I still miss my husband but I know I have to continue on by myself now. I've grown so much as a person and as a writer in the process. Joy is in my heart. Joy has saved me. Hugs back! Good luck to you in your writing and in your life.

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  4. I'm so sorry for your loss, and so in admiration of how you've made the trip back. A lovely post.

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    1. Thanks, Liz. I know this might sound a little strange but here goes. The afternoon after he passed, a gorgeous rainbow formed over my house. Though my heart was shattered, I felt a peace come over me. I believe it was definitely a sign from God. Wishing you much success always.

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    2. Not strange at all. Blessings take on all kinds of forms.

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  5. Linda, Thanks so much for sharing your story. I'm sorry for your loss, but so glad you were able to climb from the darkness and start writing and enjoying life again. I wish you much success with the upcoming books, and I'll be snapping 'um up for sure! :)
    Kirsten

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    1. Dearest Kirsten........I'm so very glad I got acquainted with you. You've become a very dear friend. Thanks for the joy you've brought to my life. I always look forward to your Facebook posts so I can see what you're doing. You have a very interesting life. I can't wait to read your stories with Prairie Rose. Gotta get over to Amazon and order that book! Love you, dear friend.

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  6. Linda, thanks so much for sharing your personal story. I know you had to dig deep to write this wonderful blog. It was great working with you on the anthologies and our friendship. Many people don't know how you and I collaborated with our stories and many of those 1880's characters live on in my 5th generation Kasota Springs series. I'm thankful for so much you've given to me as a friend who thinks about others many times over your own needs. That's a true friend ... plus I love the Bachelor series. Hugs and I can hardly wait for Cooper's story to come out! I know it's gonna be a winner. Phyliss

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    1. Hi Phyliss! Thank you for coming over to leave a comment. And big thanks for your friendship. I don't know what I'd do without my friends. We strand by each other, celebrate our successes and help get through the tough times. I was so thrilled to collaborate with you on those anthologies and to help you plot your Kasota Springs series. You mean so much to me. Big hugs back and much love!

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  7. Linda, you are such an inspiration, dear friend. I'm going to bookmark this, so I can come back and read it again and again. From time to time, all of us need the reminder you so eloquently stated.

    You are living proof that even in the midst of tremendous loss, we can find joy -- if only we remember to look.

    BIG HUGS!!!!

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    1. Kathleen, thank you so much for coming over. I really appreciate it and your sweet comment. I read a book called Eat Mangoes Naked by SARK a few years ago and that taught me so much about joy. SARK is short for Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy and she's an amazing, uplifting woman. We have to choose to have joy. It doesn't just plop into our hearts completely unaware. I thank God for my friends and I'm so glad I got to know you. Wishing you much success and happiness!

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  8. Linda, you have a wonderful circle of friends. We are blessed women, aren't we?

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    1. Indeed we are, Cheryl. We are both so blessed.

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  9. Thank you so much for opening your heart to us, Linda. It isn't easy for an author to tell their own story. It's takes courage. I hope that those who read this post, take away the wisdom and encouragement you presented. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved husband. It takes time to heal. You're doing all the right things. Peace and love to your corner of the universe.

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    1. Thank you for the hug, Sarah. Some days are still hard but they're getting easier. Writing fills a huge void and gives me an emotional release. My stories have become deeper and more satisfying. I wish you a fabulous Memorial Day, my friend.

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  10. Hi Linda, my friend and somebody I SO admire, I know that deep dark pit well. I am so glad you rejoined your joy and are once again writing your amazing stories. Joy coming in the morning is one of my most favorite Bible verses and goals ever. And I think it's also our fellow authors and mentors who help us find our joy. At least for me. You've helped me a bunch. xo

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